This Calculator Will Help You Convert Your Apartment into a Ball Pit


These days, it seems like everyone wants to get back a piece of their youth. Whether it's adult coloring books or wine in juice boxes, nostalgic products and events are everywhere. But alongside all the fun things that come with being a child, there are also restrictive rules and a strict bedtime. Being an adult is great because we can eat ice cream for dinner, watch R-rated movies, or fill our apartments with playpen balls if we want

The National Building Museum in Washington D.C. recently filled their 10,000-square-foot Great Hall with white playpen balls for guests of all ages to play in. The event looked like great fun, but if you missed it, please know you can recreate it in your own living space. 

It's safe to assume the only reason why you're not reading this from the bottom of a ball pit right now is because you don't know how many balls to buy. It's risky committing to purchasing a bulk order of playpen balls only to realize you can't actually afford to fill the whole room. Or what if you buy too many? This special calculator will make sure you know exactly what you're getting into. 

Inspired by this xkcd comic, the calculator takes a number of factors into consideration—such as apartment area, packing efficiency, and the radius and price of each ball—and then calculates how much money your personal ball pit will set you back. The website will either save you from a costly mistake or illuminate a very affordable way to double your property's worth. 

If you need the metric system, please see the Berge version. And if you're looking to actually put this calculator to use, these balls should do the trick

George Washington’s Incredible Hair Routine

America's Founding Fathers had some truly defining locks, but we tend to think of those well-coiffed white curls—with their black ribbon hair ties and perfectly-managed frizz—as being wigs. Not so in the case of the main man himself, George Washington.

As Robert Krulwich reported at National Geographic, a 2010 biography on our first president—Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow—reveals that the man “never wore a wig.” In fact, his signature style was simply the result of an elaborately constructed coiffure that far surpasses most morning hair routines, and even some “fancy” hair routines.

The style Washington was sporting was actually a tough look for his day. In the late 18th century, such a hairdo would have been worn by military men.

While the hair itself was all real, the color was not. Washington’s true hue was a reddish brown color, which he powdered in a fashion that’s truly delightful to imagine. George would (likely) don a powdering robe, dip a puff made of silk strips into his powder of choice (there are a few options for what he might have used), bend his head over, and shake the puff out over his scalp in a big cloud.

To achieve the actual ‘do, Washington kept his hair long and would then pull it back into a tight braid or simply tie it at the back. This helped to showcase the forehead, which was very in vogue at the time. On occasion, he—or an attendant—would bunch the slack into a black silk bag at the nape of the neck, perhaps to help protect his clothing from the powder. Then he would fluff the hair on each side of his head to make “wings” and secure the look with pomade or good old natural oils.

To get a better sense of the play-by-play, check out the awesome illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton that accompany Krulwich’s post.

"American Mall," Bloomberg
Unwinnable Video Game Challenges You to Keep a Shopping Mall in Business
"American Mall," Bloomberg
"American Mall," Bloomberg

Shopping malls, once the cultural hub of every suburb in America, have become a punchline in the e-commerce era. There are plenty of malls around today, but they tend to be money pits, considering the hundreds of "dead malls" haunting the landscape. Just how hard is it to keep a mall afloat in the current economy? American Mall, a new video game from Bloomberg, attempts to give an answer.

After choosing which tycoon character you want as your stand-in, you're thrown into a mall—rendered in 1980s-style graphics—already struggling to stay in business. The building is filled with rats and garbage you have to clean up if you want to keep shoppers happy. Every few seconds you're contacted by another store owner begging you to lower their rent, and you must either take the loss or risk them packing up for good. When stores are vacated, it's your job to fill them, but it turns out there aren't too many businesses interested in setting up shop in a dying mall.

You can try gimmicks like food trucks and indoor playgrounds to keep customers interested, but in the end your mall will bleed too much money to support itself. You can try playing the bleak game for yourself here—maybe it will put some of the retail casualties of the last decade into perspective.

[h/t Co.Design]


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